Sunday, August 31, 2008

This Hurricane Brought To You By God

It is Sunday night and as I sit here writing this, there is a strong category three hurricane once again headed for the people of New Orleans. We are reminded of the fact that three years ago they went through the same thing and, largely due to the incredible incompetence of their Mayor and Governor, suffered horribly and are still trying to rebuild. We are reminded of the enormous power of nature and man’s inability to effect it (are you listening Al Gore).

Unfortunately we are also reminded of the astonishing ignorance of people on the left. We have at least two people from the left so far that are celebrating the impending misfortune of the people of New Orleans and thanking God for the opportunity to gain politically from their misfortune.

Michael Moore the libelous fiction filmmaker from the left was on, of all places, Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC, when he said this:

“I was just thinking, this Gustav is proof that there is a God in heaven,” Moore said, laughing. “To have it planned at the same time – that it would actually be on its way to New Orleans for day one of the Republican Convention, up in the Twin Cities – at the top of the Mississippi River.”

Rest of the article:

I was not watching this show but I have no doubt that Olbermann jumped up and told Moore he was outraged by this type of insensitive comment. Well, ok maybe he didn’t.

Then we have Don Fowler, former DNC Chairman and super delegate who was caught on tape saying this:

"The hurricane’s going to hit New Orleans about the time they start. The timing is -- at least it appears now that it’ll be there Monday. That just demonstrates that God’s on our side. [Laughter] Everything’s cool."

Of course he alternately was a) joking, b) the victim of a rightwing smear job.

He said that he didn’t mean what he said, he was only making fun of the late Jerry Falwell. Further, he said:

"One doesn't anticipate that one's private conversation will be surreptitiously taped by some right-wing nutcase," said Fowler. "But that's the nature of what we're dealing with."

This “private conversation” was in the very public area of the passenger compartment of an airplane.

Rest of the article:

It’s getting to where a man can’t make an insensitive remark about people dying and losing everything they own without some whackjob interfering and making the comments public. Essentially what he is saying is he was either making fun of the people of New Orleans or he was making fun of a dead man.

If your real observant, you see the media bias in play here in the Fowler article. The article isn’t about the ignorant comment, it’s about the apology and the subsequent sympathy for him being the victim of a hateful rightwing attack.

Finally, I don’t have the energy tonight to start on a rampage about the media ignoring a horrendous comment by a liberal and questioning whether if they would treat it the same if it were a conservative. We already know the answer to this, just reference the aforementioned Falwell remark about 9/11. The media went nuts. As I said though, I don’t have the energy to discuss this tonight. Just look at one of my old blogs if you want a dissertation on this.

We should take heart though whenever these far leftist liberal idiots actually acknowledge the presence of God and his ability to perform an act such as this. The problem is though that the leftists only mention God when there is something in it for them.

Random Thoughts On Sunday Morning

It is early Sunday morning, my family is not up yet, and I am being lazy, watching the news and cruising the internet. While doing this some random thoughts are firing in my brain. Naturally I think others want to know about them so here we go.

Can the Denver Broncos play on Invesco field now? Is it considered hollowed ground now that The One has trod upon it and given a sermon? Would having a mere football game in the stadium seem sacrilegious?

I still like Sarah Palin and think she was the right choice right now. One of the biggest knocks against her that I am hearing is that she is not Hillary Clinton. The leftist journalists seem to truly believe this is a negative. Hillary Clinton got the support of a lot of women but it is an incredible disservice to the women voters of the US to think that Clinton is the only one that can speak for them. It is almost if they are a bunch of zombies falling in lock step behind her. I believe that Palin will take hold with them because she is strong, a caring mother, and she works for a living. This will give other women the impression that she can identify with them. The left seems to think that one of her major problems is that she is pro-life. This is a false assumption for two reasons. One is the assumption that all women are pro-choice. Not all women are, including I suspect, not all of Clintons supporters. Second that abortion is the number one issue for women and is a deal breaker. According to a Washington Post poll, abortion is near the bottom of the list for issues at only 2% of all voters. The reality is that if someone is voting based on abortion, they are not voting for McCain anyways whoever his pick is, so she was a wash on this issue. Finally, she does not have the endorsement of NOW, what more can we ask for?

Does anyone else find it interesting that the Clintons and their supporters left the convention early? Geraldine Ferraro was on vacation this last week? The Rev Jesse Jackson was not in Denver? Obama didn’t have his long time mentor and pastor the Rev Wright give an invocation or anything? John Edwards was spending time with his family (wink, wink) and couldn’t make it to Denver? This must be the Democratic unity they’re talking about.

Obama wants to run the greatest nation on earth and can’t even control his own campaign staff as evidenced by the mixed messages on Sarah Palin’s nomination. This is not the first time his campaign staff has sent out a different message than him.

The University of Michigan has got a lot of work to do on it’s new and improved offense. A lot. That was ugly.

Obama continues to hammer Bush on Katrina completely forgetting the utter incompetence of the Democratic Governor Blanco and the poster child for idiocy, Mayor Nagin. I said it before and I will say it again, this fiasco in New Orleans was almost entirely the fault of these two morons. FEMA is supposed to be a back up, not first response. They are not supposed to be in place for the hurricane, they are supposed to support local authorities. This whole episode was a case study in how the media can change thinking in the US. They made this George Bush’s fault, so in the minds of most people in the country, it was.

Well, that’s it. The family’s awake and I have some real work to do.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

McCain Gets It Right

John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate appears to be a strong decision. She is a relatively unknown figure nationally although a rising star in the Republican party. Time will tell if she is the right pick to put him over the top but my gut is that she helps considerably more than she hurts.

She has a good balance of being a pick that excites the conservative base but seems to be someone that moderates would support. She doesn’t have the persona of some of the old boys club conservatives, Dick Chaney, Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay, etc. These are men I like but have so vilified by the liberal media that they are now viewed as caricatures by the public at large. Palin doesn’t have this. She comes off as personable and warm. She has the potential to make conservativism cool again.

She is pro-life and walks the walk. Too often lately we have had conservatives that are pro-life when it suits them politically. Palin is someone who has lived the life style. Women, even some who are on the fence about abortion, will respect and honor her refusal to abort her latest child. Her youngest child was born with Downe’s syndrome and not only did she refuse to abort her child, which is a practice that is supported by many on the left, she is very comfortable about her choice and celebrates the child as a special gift, as she should. This will contrast with widely held beliefs on the left in which we should abort children like this and only allow perfect children to be born. A viewpoint that is amazing for a group of people who make celebrating diversity one of the cornerstones of their beliefs.

One knock against her is her relative lack of experience. This is a conversation I welcome. Let’s talk about inexperience for the job, this is a sure loser for Obama. Not only does Obama have a lack of experience, what experience he has consists largely of voting “present” as a legislator. Further, the Obamites are attacking her for being the mayor of a small town. Susan Estrich wrote today that the town Palin was mayor of is smaller than her neighborhood. When are the idiots on the left going to stop this attack on small town America? We have had several reprisals of Obama’s “clinging to guns and religion” speech over the last 24 hours. When are they going to get through their head that ‘fly-over land’ is largely made up of small towns. Their attitude about small towns combined with her likely appeal could make a big difference in very important states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, and even Illinois.

We are also seeing reports of a possible controversy concerning her and the public safety commissioner in Alaska. The truth is yet to come out about the case. Again though, let’s talk about controversies. We could talk about Ayers, Wright, Rezko (who Biden might be connected to also). This is another loser for Obama.

Palin is someone who could put states that are close into McCain’s column (Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Colorado), and states that are Obama’s into play (California, Wisconsin). If McCain/Palin could steal California, the election is over.

Further she is the woman that offers it all. She hunts and fishes, is a strong supporter of the troops (a military mom), and at the same time is the mother of five children.

Finally, she has presence. She brings a bit of the “celebrity” aura to McCain’s campaign without the flashiness and superficiality that marks Obama’s campaign. She also will be a stark contrast to Biden, especially in the debate. Word is she is a strong debater. Imagine a photogenic woman standing on the stage going toe to toe with a stodgy white guy with a nasty temper. That may not be a pretty debate.

I have been watching and reading a lot of attacks from the left over the last 24 hours. They are attacking Palin as inexperienced, a gimmick to attract Hillary voters, etc. Some of these attacks will take hold with swing voters, most will be a turn off. What I am hearing most though is fear. This woman scares the Hell out of the Democrats and I think for good reason.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Recession On Hold

Barrack Obama and the rest of the Democratic party must be really disappointed today, the recession they have been hoping for is not materializing.

The Commerce Department released the figures for the gross domestic product today and the GDP was higher than anticipated. The GDP increased at 3.3% in the April - June quarter. This was higher than both the 1.9% initial estimate and the 2.7% growth rate predicted by economists.

The definition of a recession is two or more consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. Of course this hasn't stopped the Dems, and their public relations department the network news programs, from saying we’re in a recession.

Senator Charles Schumer (D, NY) in the spring said that the economy had stalled and that 90% of the people in the country were experiencing a recession. Which was an idiotic thing to say, not only because we were not in a recession but because people do not experience a recession, governments do. We cannot have 90% of a country's people in recession, it is an all or nothing deal.

The media has been just as complicit. All three of the major networks have ran stories on the country's recession. They have ran stories on how people are coping in the current recession. Which are nice and caring stories, if we were in a recession.

What this coverage was, other than patently false, was damaging. One of the worst things to do with a recession is to undermine consumer confidence. It is especially irresponsible to do something like this for purely political and ideological gain. The leftists in the Democratic party and the media saw an opportunity to attack George Bush and they are not going to let something as innocuous as the truth or concern for the country to stop them from doing it.

So the Democrats are going to have to forge ahead somehow and try to carry on with the news. Maybe they can still cling to the hope that the Iraq war could get worse before the election. Nothing would make the Dimwits happier than a bunch of troops dying so they could say I told you so.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Subtle And Not So Subtle

Reading an article about John McCain’s attacks on Barack Obama today carried by AFP I was able to see a good range of subtlety of media bias. The subtlety ranged from mild to baseball bat to the head. The article, titled McCain camp gleefully mocks 'Temple of Obama' can be read here:

Some of the milder quotes were things like, (bold emphasis added by me)

The McCain campaign has issued a flurry of campaign commercials mercilessly ribbing the Democratic candidate over his elevated rhetorical style, and mocked Obama over a White House-style lecturn he once used.

"They will call him, 'The One,'" the advertisement said, using a sarcastic tone and stark religious imagery.

Then of course we had this little unbiased gem,

The ad features moments from Obama's soaring speeches, taken out of context, to frame an image of a candidate McCain supporters say presumptuously acted as though he was already president during an international tour last month.

Now, I realize I am not coming up with anything novel here and we can come up with an almost limitless list of worse examples. Maybe I was just in a bad mood today but this article rubbed me the wrong way. I have always had a real issue with supposed news articles editorializing. Items like “mercilessly ribbing”, “using a sarcastic tone and stark religious imagery”, “Obama’s soaring speeches” that we’re “taken out of context” do not belong in a news article.

Further, look at the use of stark religious imagery to condemn McCain but the psuedo-religious verbiage, Obama’s soaring speeches, on Obama.

It also does not go without notice that while they used several examples from previous McCain “attack ads”, they didn’t seem to come up with any Obama ads attacking McCain.

So, while I realize I am not saying anything new, I felt I had to unload. I’ll just drink an adult beverage and watch Fox for awhile, maybe I can come down a little.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How Many Americas Are There

Watching the Democratic Convention last night I caught a comment by Michelle Obama that got me thinking. This is incredible, not the thinking part, but the fact that I caught the comment at all. I only had the convention on for a brief period of time and had the sound on for an even briefer period.

The remark was that her husband, Barack Obama, would bring the country back together if he were elected president. This got me thinking about John Edward’s “two Americas”. The question is, when was America split apart? Why wasn’t I told about this? And just how many Americas are there? John Edwards talked about two, Michelle Obama didn’t say how many she thought there were so I am a little confused.

This is one of the million differences between conservatives and liberals. A conservative will talk about America, the one and only, no plural, no division, America. Liberals like to talk about several Americas and wanting to reunite them.

This desire to reunite America is ironic considering that, as a general rule, they are the ones dividing it. They are typically the ones talking about people that are left behind by the country, people are disenfranchised. They are here to look out for the oppressed whether the oppression be due to race, religious preference except of course Christianity, gender, number of combined genders, sexual orientation, sexual proclivity, immigration status, ethnicity, disease state (there are many more protected classes but this blog can only be so long).

They have to talk about this, it’s what keeps this victim class voting for them. What’s interesting about this relationship is that in the 25+ years that I have been following politics I have yet to see liberals actually do anything to help these people, they just promise and the victims keep voting for them.

Why don’t they do anything for them? A cynic would say that they don’t want to help these people because they would not need them anymore and would not keep sending them back into office. The dirty little secret though is that they cannot help them because there is not anything significant that the government can do.

This is where the conservative viewpoint comes in. As conservatives, we believe that opportunities are there for all and each person must take responsibility for their own lives and better themselves. This is what the MSM would call being heartless.

So if what Michelle Obama says is true, that there is more than one America, than she unwittingly made a case against her husband being president. If Obama is not qualified to run one country, as most of us suspect, what makes her think he can run several of them?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Is This Obama’s Waterloo?

It seems the Democratic National Convention starts today, at least that’s what they are saying on Fox this morning. As a general rule I use this week to get some stuff done around the house such as sorting my socks. This year may be different though, it may actually be exciting. Just not for Obama. I believe that this could be a bad week for Obama.

John McCain, in an attempt to raise expectations unreasonably for Obama, has predicted Obama would get a large bump from the convention. In other words he may get a surge in the polls and open a large but temporary lead over McCain. This is something expected, it tends to happen for each candidate after their respective conventions. Further, what McCain was doing was an old political trick. Hillary Clinton did it to Obama during the primaries. Predicting a bump, or a large primary win for your opponent is a win-win scenario for the candidate who makes the prediction. If Obama gets a big bump, McCain can say it was expected and keep from looking like he is the reason he is behind. Better yet, it raises expectations. If Obama does not get a big bump, or no bump at all, it makes him look weak and gives McCain an opening.

This may be a better than usual time to use this trick. I believe there is a good chance Obama will not get a bump. In fact, I believe it is possible the convention could damage Obama, maybe even permanently.

First there is the cast of characters speaking at the convention. Obama could have stuck with his “change” theme and made some bold choices for speakers at he convention. Instead he went with the tried and true far left of the party. We have Oprah who has been mysteriously busy and unable to actively campaign for Obama since the Rev Wright scandal broke. Nancy Pelosi will kick of the convention with her speech tonight, ‘nuff said there. In an attempt to underline his commitment to Israel, Obama has asked renowned anti-Semite Jimmy Carter to speak. Then we have someone that Obama makes look like a conservative, Teddy Kennedy. Harry Reid will be there. Then of course we have the Clinton’s, more on this later. Included in the list are Jesse Jackson Jr (evidently his father couldn’t make it), John Kerry, national leaders of Planned Parenthood and NARAL, and union leaders from the AFL-CIO, SEIU, and the NEA. Of course we will have the “surprise” visits from celebrities such as Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin, George Clooney. Maybe we will even be treated to Madonna. She can explain her curious ‘McCain is like Hitler’ theory. Finally we have Al “we’re all going to die” Gore introducing Obama Thursday night.

No word yet if John Edwards will be there and Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is still waiting to see if the judges in his perjury and assault trials will let him travel.

Looking at the list provided by the DNC, it is hard to see any out of the mainstream liberal speakers at the convention. This is Obama’s idea of “change”. To their credit though, they did pencil in some time Wednesday to honor the troops. This will be sandwiched in between the guests, and the protestors outside, using the four days to bash them. This will certainly help Obama with the military vote.

Then there is the Clinton’s. Obama has practically turned over days two and three to the Bill and Hill show. They will have speeches “supporting” Obama. There will be a great show of unity. Love will be in the air. Right up until they have the roll call vote and Obama is embarrassed by how many people at his convention vote for Hillary. Folks, I think this is going to be ugly and for once, the media is not going to be able to protect him because it is going to be ugly live and in color. Fox is reporting that there is trouble already with the Bill and Hill show before the convention even starts. It appears there is disagreement between Bill and the Obama team as to what he can and cannot say during his speech. It’s fun to sit back and watch democracy and freedom of speech in action.

Finally, we have the nastiness. As a general rule these conventions are quite boring. They’re scripted. They’re kept on message. They typically have a positive tone with the speakers selling the candidate with occasional zingers at he opponent and opposition party. This year though, the Dems have made a point that they are determined that Obama is not going to be “swift boated” by the Republicans. This has become a term that the Dems use whenever they want to accuse the Republicans of telling the truth about them. There are clear signs the Dems plan to run a different convention. I believe this week will be one of the nastiest conventions we have ever seen. Look at the line up. There is barely a civil, statesmen-like person headlining it, Pelosi, Carter, Gore, Hill and Bill, Reid, Kerry. All have been known to be extremely strident and partisan. The vitriol from this group will likely shock the nation. Their hatred for George Bush will be on display. This hatred has carried over to McCain and will at the convention.

Finally, if anyone doesn’t believe this will happen, look no further than Obama’s pick for VP. Joe Biden. This is a man who has one reputation, and one only, that as an attack dog. Forget national security, most of the public doesn’t even know who he is let alone that he is a national security expert (if we were to use the Dem definition of a national security “expert”). He was brought in to be the grown-up for Obama. He will spend his time attacking McCain while Obama continues pretending he is the change candidate. I predict their honeymoon will be over before the convention is. Biden will embarrass Obama at the convention.

Add to this the scene outside the convention with the protesters. Fox has already, at 5:00 am Denver time, shown footage of the protesters. There were almost no words spoken that they could air on television. These people are here to recreate ’68.

I think we will see riots, massive arrests, bloodshed, profanity, and generally embarrassment. This is just at the roll call vote in the Convention Center. I think things could really get ugly out on the streets.

John McCain is going to show why it is better to have your convention second. He will be able to follow up the Dem convention with a more traditional, positive message, unified convention. This will contrast sharply with the disaster in Denver and he will come off as the more presidential of the two. This will be an image that will help McCain immensely and, with voters already having doubts about Obama’s readiness to lead, may cost Obama the election.

This could be fun. The socks just might have to wait to be sorted this year until the new fall schedule of television programming begins.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Reason The Chinese Fear A Free Press

Word came out last night that the International Olympic Committee is going to investigate whether the Chinese are using underage gymnasts. According to Olympic rules, gymnasts must turn 16 years of age before the end of the Olympic year. Rumors have been rampant that at least three of the girls on the team are under 16 which would cause the Olympic committee to rescind the medals they won.

While I realize that the issue of whether the girls on the Chinese Olympic team is not the most pressing issue of the world today. In fact, it could be argued that it is not even the most important story of the Olympics. It does offer an interesting insight on why China fears an open and free press.

China, in the continuation of long standing policy, has gone to great lengths during the Olympics to keep a tight rein on the media in the country. There has been stories of bugging hotel rooms, limiting access to areas, censoring outgoing information on the internet, to going as far as arresting reporters trying to cover protests.

This gymnastics story gives a small example of why China fears a free press. In the past the government was able to keep something like this hidden from the public and continue with their business as usual, no danger of anyone questioning what they do.

This gymnastics story is really nothing more than old news. It has always been assumed that countries, especially communists countries like China, cheat with their Olympic athletes. Since I was a child I have heard stories about doping, professional athletes (way before they were allowed), cooperative judges, etc.

Further, lest anyone think I am being unfair, I realize other countries have been caught cheating. Most recently the 2000 US men’s 1600 meter relay team was stripped of it’s gold medal because Antonio Pettigrew admitted to doping. There is one very big difference here though. The US team was caught and had to return their medals because of our free press. The trial in which he admitted his guilt was public and freely reported by the media. The transgression was revealed in the media and was brought to the attention of the IOC, which stripped the medal. Does anyone reading this think the same would have happened in China? Would they have a public trial in which the transgression was reported by the press? Would there have been any trial at all? Would the Chinese government see any reason at all to question the way the medal was won? The answer to all is a resounding NO.

The gymnastics story would have, and has been until now, buried by the Chinese government with no openness, no attempt to decide if they are playing by the rules. The story only came to light because of the presence of foreign journalists who, once their story is in the press of their own country, does not have to abide by the oppressive media rules in place in China. I would even put forth he notion that it is not overly important if the story is true or not, what’s relevant here is that the Chinese are finally having to bear the same scrutiny as most of the rest of the world does.

So, this may not be the most earth shattering news of the day but it does give us a little hint as to why the Chinese fear a free press. I think though that they may want to get used to it. With the internet and the accessibility of easier travel and communications, the Chinese government may be looking at their future.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Obama Lead Slipping Away?

Obama's appears to be looking for McCain

credit: Christine Baker, Of The Patriot-News

It’s way too early to read much into poll numbers and polls will change several times between now and the election, especially after the conventions, but polls released today are interesting.

According to the Reuters/Zogby poll released today here McCain has a 5 point lead, 46% to 41%, over Obama. There are several reasons why this is significant.

It is the first time McCain has led Obama in this poll and erases a 7 point lead for Obama in July.

Also it is outside the margin of error of 3 percent.

Finally the poll is among likely voters. A lot of the polls showing Obama with a large lead are among registered voters. This difference is important. First, likely voters are obviously a better predictor of how the vote will go than measuring registered voters, some of which won’t vote. Second Democrats have a greater tendency to be among the non-voters in the registered voter count than Republicans. What this means in short is that when registered voters are counted, the Democrat has a tendency to poll higher than the actual vote will be.

There are other things in this poll that should make the Obama team a little nervous.

McCain is polling higher on the economy than Obama, 49% to 40%. This is quite significant not only because the economy tends to be a Democratic strong point but also is listed as the number one issue for voters this year. Again this is a reversal from a 4 point Obama lead last month.

Obama lost 9 points from July on his support among Democrats to 74% while McCain has the support of 81% of Republicans. Further, more Democrats, 10%, are undecided than Republicans, 9%. This is interesting in that the media has depicted Obama as the darling of the Democratic party while portraying the Republican party as running away screaming from McCain.

Possibly the most worrisome for Obama is his support among young voters, slipping 12 points from 64% to 52% giving him only a 12% lead over McCain. This was supposed to be the group to carry Obama to the White House.

Now we do have to keep in mind that these poll numbers will change, sometimes in favor of McCain and sometimes for Obama. If I’m Obama though, I would be worried about these numbers. This is supposed to be a banner year for Democrats and Obama at best has been managing to just barely stay ahead of McCain and now is trailing. This has to give Obama and the rest of the Democratic party some sleepless nights.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Four Days Without A Computer

I returned yesterday from four days camping with my wife, three kids, my parents, nephews, and uncle. It is an experience that I wish for everyone. We swam, fished, rode our bikes, sat around the campfire and just generally spent time together. What we didn’t do was watch TV, blog, or play video games.

I have one very strict rule for camping, no television or computers. It is our time to get away from these things and enjoy each other. I don’t have to go to work. The boys aren’t in another room watching TV, and my wife and I are not at the computer blogging or surfing.

I went swimming a couple of times with my daughter, no one else wanted to come except my son the second time because it was a little chilly. I froze my butt off but would do it again in a minute because my daughter had a blast. It seems kids haven’t developed the cold water sensory organs yet at her age. To be fair to her, I can remember swimming in Lake Superior as a child. If you haven’t swam in Lake Superior, just imagine ice water except not as warm.

We fished a few times and caught almost nothing except quite small panfish. This is ok to me though because I am a firm believer in the old adage that a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work. The addendum to this is that the day of fishing is even better if you do it with your children.

We rode our bikes. I have a new bike, my first in approximately, well let’s just say my last bike had the really big front wheel and small back wheel with the seat that sat up high. So to say that I was out of practice is being way to kind. I am amazed though that the campground was built in such a way that no matter what way you went on one of the roads, it was uphill.

Then there was the campfire. If you have not sat around a campfire, do it. This is one of the single most enjoyable parts of camping. You can set there and talk about religion, astronomy, politics, and motorhome repair, all in less than a five minute time span.

The most important thing you do though is nothing. The days last longer. There are no errands to run. No running late for work. The big decisions usually revolve around what to eat with the chicken you are going to cook on the fire.

The best part of it though is that you spend time with your family. As I said, there is no TV, video games, etc. As much as I enjoy technology and all it brings us. I enjoy not having it for a couple of days just as well. I literally cut myself off from the news. Neither Obama nor McCain was at the campground. I got home and I had to catch up. I knew nothing about what had happened for the last four days.

I am a real political and news junkie, I watch the news while I am reading and writing about it. I genuinely like blogging, and am glad I found it. For four days though, I did not miss it a bit.

So here’s wishing all of you can find your self lost in the woods for a few days and the relaxation it brings you.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Obama On A Mission From God?

Back from camping with the family and I see things haven’t changed. The Presidential election is still going on with the Democrats getting ready to name their nominee, Hillary Clinton, and upstart Barrack Obama now claiming he’s on a mission from God.

Barrack Obama held a fundraiser in San Francisco Sunday night in which he was introduced by Speaker of the House and representative of San Francisco, Nancy Pelosi. This in itself is not unusual, it was just one far left whack job introducing another far left whack job. What was interesting about it was Pelosi’s introduction in which she said that Obama was a "leader that God has blessed us with at this time,".

Completely ignoring the ridiculous notion that God, if he were to endorse a Presidential candidate in the United States, would favor someone who supports the murder of over a million unborn children a year in the US and has chosen to worship in the church of a man who has open hatred for anyone different than him, let’s examine this statement.

First there is the fact that I had to dig for information on the story of a presidential campaign inserting religion so callously and hinting that it may be ordained by God himself. This event happened approximately 10 hours ago and it is getting very little coverage. I initially saw the link on the Drudgereport. He was linking to Ben Smith’s blog at, but I wanted to see a news feature on it. After what was not a short search, I came across this story from AFP here. The point is, does anybody reading this believe that if Phil Gramm had said the same about John McCain, I would have to actually search for a news article on it? I did find several articles about the fundraiser including one from the San Francisco Chronicle site that mentioned Pelosi but not the remarks, so the media heard about the event. One would think though that if any paper would be offended by remarks such as this, it would be the San Francisco Chronicle. Evidently it’s only offensive if it is said by a conservative.

Then there is the issue of the Democratic party using religion when it suits them and showing utter disdain for it when it does not. We have Obama sitting in a black separatist church for twenty years when it helps him politically as a US Senator in Illinois but throwing the pastor under the bus as a presidential candidate when it turns out that, unknown to him, the Reverend Wright and his guest speakers such as the Reverend Michael Pfleger are hateful racists with insane conspiracy theories. Further, this is the same Obama who accused Pennsylvania voters of “clinging to … religion” due to their personal frustrations.

I personally am impressed that Ms Pelosi can get the word God out without either choking or being struck by lightning.

Finally according to the San Francisco Examiner article we had this quote “…maybe God will give us a president who will help the common man," from Peter Shah, an attendee at the event and a member of the Asian Pacific Islanders for Obama coalition. Maybe there is something here, maybe Obama, like Jake Ellwood from the Blues Brothers is on “a mission from God”. Before anyone accuses me of maligning the Blues Brothers, admit that them saying they’re on a mission from God is almost as ridiculous as Pelosi saying Obama is.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Face Of China

Sometimes it’s the little things that define a moment. In this case the little thing is actually two little girls in China. Story here:

During the opening ceremony the producers had planned for 7 year old Yang Pieyi to sing “Ode To The Motherland” a patriotic song in China. At the last moment a member of the ruling Politburo decided that she was not cute enough and so the music director was told to have 9 year old Lin Miaoke lip sync the song.

I do not want to discuss the validity of their decision, I find the idea that one could be cuter than the other irrelevant. The beauty of children is in the eye of the beholder. For instance, your children are always more attractive than others. I know because my daughter is.

Writing this I began with the thought that it is an outrage what China is doing to both of these little girls. They are telling one she cannot sing but is given the stage because she is cuter, reinforcing the notion among children that beauty is the ticket to success, and the other that she is not attractive enough, reinforcing the idea that talent is not enough for success without beauty. The reality is that this whole incident is a study of our image starved society. In America we do this also. How many talentless singers do we have that are performing solely because of their looks or their bodies? Our girls pick up any magazine or turn on the television, even some of the “safe” children’s shows, and their role models are underfed waif’s with IQ’s even lower than their weight.

I never gave this as much of a thought as I have now that my daughter is getting to an impressionable age. She is an attractive child and I will likely have to beat the boys off with a stick (note to any local boys reading this, I mean this literally). I don’t want her to be defined by her looks though. She is also a bright little girl and I want this to be what she is.

What happened in China with these little girls can be viewed as a small incident and only about the country trying to put the best face on the Olympics. It’s not too hard though to see it as a very poor message to send to our children at an age in which they are starting to develop who they are.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Let The Games Begin

The waiting is almost over. The breathless anticipation, the sleepless nights. It comes every four years. The pomp, the circumstance, the political mechanizations. Times have changed the event. Now it’s more “green”. The host region is in flux, there is uncertainty about it’s political leanings. Also this year there is still the shadow of war hanging over the event though the war has changed since the participants last assembled. Finally this year, like years past, has a hint of surprise to it. The show remains the same though. Yes, it’s time for the Democratic National Convention.

The question to end all questions though is, what are the Clinton’s up to? As of right now they are scheduled to speak on the second (Hillary) and third (Bill) nights.

There is one school of thought that this may be a no-win situation for Obama. If he did not let them speak he would alienate a segment of the Democratic party that is already on the fence, or on the other side for some.

Bill Clinton is still popular among Democrats although he did do some damage to this popularity with his behavior during the primaries.

More importantly though, Hillary was a must for the convention. A lot of her supporters are still smarting over her loss and Obama’s role in it, some of it real, some imagined. There is a sizable portion of the Democratic party that believed this was Hillary’s nomination and the primaries were just a formality. There is still lingering resentment over her loss. These are people that Obama is on very thin ice with. There is still no guarantee that they will come back to the party this year. Most of those that do not come back will stay home.

Some though will cross over and vote for John McCain. This is even more of a risk this election because Obama is facing a candidate with broad appeal. Unhappy voters in 2004 were not as likely to cross over and vote for George Bush (although some did) because of his unpopularity with Democrats. This is not true this election. As I said, McCain has considerably more cross over appeal than Bush and this could make the decision to vote Republican easier for Democrats upset with Hillary’s defeat. What should concern the Democrats this year is that Bush, as unpopular as we was supposed to be with Democrats in 2004, managed to get 11% of them to vote for him. If I’m Obama, I would worry about this when he is facing a party that is divided over the Hillary loss and a Republican candidate that has cross over appeal.

So, letting the Clintons speak was essentially a no-brainer. Which brings us to the down side of allowing them the air time.

Pundits have said that one of the real risks for Obama is the possibility that they could block some of his spotlight. Conventions are not for nominating the candidate anymore. They are supposed to be a coronation. We have the first three nights in which we have leaders of the party speaking mixed in with the occasional speaker with some tale of woe that will be made right with the election of the candidate. The whole event is staged, speeches pre-approved, speakers chosen carefully to accomplish one thing, tell us how wonderful the candidate is and what horrors face us if they are not elected. The third night is capped off by the announcement of the Vice Presidential candidate. Finally the excitement builds until the fourth night in which the candidate themselves take the stage and there is great rejoicing, tears, and an overpowering sense of party unity.

At least that’s the plan.

The risk for Obama, some say, is that nights two and three could become about the Clintons. They are rock stars in the Democratic party in their own right. Neither has given resounding support for Obama yet. In fact one could say Bill Clinton hasn’t actually given his support at all yet. His latest chance was when a reporter asked him if he thought Obama was ready to be President. Instead of giving the gracious “of course he is” answer, Clinton responded that he wasn’t sure anyone ever really was. This is a curious answer. What it is not, however, is an endorsement.

There are also rumors that Clinton’s supporters may try to hijack the convention and force a floor vote, asking attendees to vote for either her or Obama. While it is likely Obama would win this vote, the thought is that the vote would be fairly close and would do considerable damage to their attempt to project party unity. In addition, her losing the vote along with not being placed on the ticket as a VP candidate, could cause her supporters to leave the convention with renewed bitterness.

My personal thought is that the Clintons will subtly undermine Obama. Hillary Clinton has no interest in Obama winning. There is nothing in it for her. The best she is looking at is a likely cabinet post. More importantly, an Obama win will essentially destroy her chances of winning the White House. Her next chance to win would be 2016, unless she ran against Obama for the nomination in 2012 which is unlikely. In 2016 she would be running against, a sitting Democratic VP if Obama wins in 2012, or an incumbent sitting Republican president if Obama loses in 2012. Neither scenario is traditionally the best way to get to the White House. Her only real chance at the White House is if Obama loses this year. She could then run against an even older McCain in 2012. A much better chance of winning.

For any Democrats reading this, do not be deluded into thinking the Clintons will put the interests of the party before them. They have given no indication of doing this since coming on the national scene in 1992. They are two of the most cold and calculating people in politics today and they have always done what is best for the Clintons.

With this said, they do have to be careful. Any indication that they are trying to undermine Obama would be just as disastrous for her White House chances. So as another witch would say “These things must be done delicately”. Sorry, cheap shot, but too easy to not do.

So, while I am not a Democrat and live in fear of Obama being president, I wait in anticipation of the Democratic National Convention. Forget that Olympics thing in China, this year the Democratic convention may be the Greatest Show on Earth.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Staff Behind The Man

I don’t want to talk about the John Edwards affair because I don’t want to violate that long standing convention in which Republicans get drug through the mud for affairs and Democrats are given a pass because it’s a “private matter”. I don’t want to talk about his hypocrisy for billing himself as the model of the family man while getting some on the side. I definitely don’t want to talk about the fact that he promoted this persona while running for president, even using his ill wife as a campaign prop, at the same time he was denying the rumors of the affair. No, I won’t mention any of this.

What I want to talk about are the staff of Democratic officials. It’s really kind of unfortunate that these officials get attacked in some of the media when it’s actually their staff that is usually to blame.

Take the case of John Edwards. He has admitted to his own little “private matter” with a videographer this week. While he was getting busy, it appears his staff may have been just as busy as him. We are being told that even though Edwards had the affair, he did not father her child, it was one of his former campaign staff members. So if we are to believe this then it appears that the woman Edwards was cheating on his wife with was cheating on him. It’s getting to where you cannot trust anyone. Now we hear that Edwards had nothing to do with money being paid to this woman, it was a staff member. The word is that Fred Baron, Edward’s national finance chairman made payments to her to keep her quiet unknown to John Edwards. It is nice to have friends like this backing you up. I’m waiting for Edwards to come out and say that it was actually one of his staff members that had the affair for him without his knowledge.

I don’t want to accuse John Edwards of being original though. He is definitely not the first Democratic politician with staff’s that have caused problems for the politicians.

We have an aide to Senator Jim Webb who was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon in a bag while attempting to enter the Russell Senate Office Building. The aide said that Webb gave him the gun before he boarded a flight. Webb has denied giving the gun to his aide and said it was due to a mix up among his staff.

There is Al Gore. If people remember, Gore was Vice President of the US before he started writing fantasy novels about raging seas and melting ice. Al Gore also was not involved in the fund raising practices of John Huang a mid level Commerce Department official. Mr. Huang arranged visits by Chinese officials to Gore. Arranged an appearance by Gore to the His Lai Temple in Los Angeles. This was all done to collect illegal campaign contributions from Asian foreign nationals. Of course Gore knew nothing about any of this.

Of course Senator Chuck Schumer (D, NY) knew nothing about two staff members of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee illegally obtaining the credit report of Republican Senate candidate Michael Steele.

Finally, from the Inept Staff Hall of Fame, we have the Clinton’s. It turns out that if you want to research Clinton and controversy on Google, you have to narrow your search or you get waaay too much information. This husband/wife presidential team had probably the most error prone staff of all times. They only have themselves to blame though, they kept them for the entire eight years of their presidency.

Hillary Clinton had her own campaign staff member getting illegal contributions. He was, of course, working on his own unbeknownst to her. You can’t blame her for not knowing that dishwashers can’t afford to give 10’s of thousands dollars in campaign contributions. I mean, they do get to share tips with the waitresses.

Hillary Clinton also has the distinction among Democrats for having her brother get in the act. Without Ms Clinton’s knowledge, he was out selling pardons by Bill Clinton, who of course also didn’t know they weren’t completely above the board.

Then we have the Rose Law firm billing records subpoenaed in the Whitewater investigation. It seems that Ms Clinton’s staff misplaced them (in a room in their living quarters) for two years.

Finally we have the FBI files in the Clinton White House. This was a case in which the Clinton WH obtained files from the FBI on 340 Republican politicians and officials. The fourth, and last that I could find, explanation for this was that a low-level official using an outdated WH pass accidentally requested the files from the FBI. The WH position was that this was an inadvertent mistake even though the files were reviewed for damaging information that was passed on to a political appointee and locked in a safe for awhile before they were turned over to the FBI. source here:

John Edwards is just the latest in a long line of Democratic politicians who have surrounded themselves with people that have gotten the politicians in trouble. Either these Democratic politicians have a very poor track record in hiring staff, they are not very good at overseeing them, or, gasp, they are lying and the staff are committing these transgressions under their direction. I refuse to believe the latter. This would just crush my belief in them and their ideals.

So, all this time we have been wringing our hands at the damage that electing Democrats could do to the country when all along what we should fear are their staff.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Kinder, Gentler ICE

Stung by criticism of being harsh and unkind to illegal aliens, ICE is developing a voluntary deportation program. According to a story on today ICE is letting illegals leave the country at their leisure, given up to 90 days, so that they can settle their affairs.

The program, dubbed "Scheduled Departure," gives immigrants who have no criminal history and pose no threat to the community up to 90 days to make travel arrangements, and in some cases say goodbye to their families, without being placed in a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, detention center.
The three-week program began Tuesday in Phoenix, Chicago, San Diego, Charlotte, N.C., and Santa Ana, Calif. It is aimed at clearing up a backlog of deportation cases and is a response to complaints that ICE disrupts families when removing immigrants from the country.

Rest of the story here:

Where do you start with this.

First, there is the issue of not breaking apart their families. This is a choice they made when they chose to break our immigration laws. One recurring theme on this whole “not separating families” bit is women who have children in the U.S. Under the U.S. Constitution, a person born in the United States is a natural born citizen. What happens is an illegal immigrant has a baby here (with no insurance, guess who pays for this) then they raise hell if we try to deport them because we are tearing their family apart. The thinking by them is that they should be rewarded for evading detection and then having a baby on our dime.

Then we have the issue of illegals who “pose no threat to the community”. Most, while by definition law-breakers, are not violent drug dealing murders. With this said, there has been significant anecdotal evidence to show that we need to be cautious with them. While I do not believe we need to run ‘em all out to protect our women and children, it doesn’t seem too unreasonable to err on the side of caution and get them back in their own country as soon as possible. Law enforcement personnel in our cities have enough to do protecting citizens from our own home bred criminals without giving them more criminals to watch. It seems unlikely that ICE officials can just look at an illegal, run a background check, and determine which ones are completely safe. We have all heard too many stories of illegals deemed safe and released back into society to injure or murder honest hard working citizens.

Finally, we have this little gem, “immigrants who have no criminal history”. These are people who, by the simple act of being here, have a criminal history. Are they talking about criminal history other than crossing the border illegally, working without paying taxes, sending their children to school without paying for it, clogging up our Emergency Rooms without insurance. Other than this they are just like all other law abiding citizens.

We need to stop the victimization of criminals in our country and get rid of this kinder, gentler approach. Illegal immigrants made the decision to break the law so they need to be made to take responsibility for these actions and be deported when caught.

Monday, August 4, 2008

McCain Ad Not Funny To Hilton Mom

Kathy Hilton mother of Paris Hilton is upset about John McCain’s ad “Celeb”. See the video here: This ad shows images of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears to make light of the fact that Barack Obama has become more of a celebrity than a relevant candidate for the Presidency. Ms Hilton has said she did not find the ad funny.

I must admit, I have a tendency to agree with her, the ad really wasn’t that funny. I have mixed feelings on the ad. On one hand, I thought it fell a little flat in it’s imagery. The glimpses of the celebs, Spears and Hilton, were too fleeting and the association between them and Obama wasn’t overly clear. With this said, knowing what the video was about, the association itself does drive home the point that Obama is more of a media darling than a legitimate Presidential candidate. His campaign to date has been superficial with no real message other than he is an agent for “change”. The ad is not, as Democrats are trying to label it, an attack ad.

It’s parody. A parody of Obama and the adoration of his supporters and the media. A parody that Obama and the media themselves have made possible. Also, the celebrities themselves invite the notion that they are superficial and adored not for what they contribute to society but for who they are. It is for these reasons, that it is nothing more than parody and because there is some underlying truth to the comparisons, that I find the criticism by the elder Ms Hilton to be interesting.

First, it was curious that she chose the Huffington Post for her remarks. I am not going to call Ms Hilton a wild eyed liberal, she and her husband did donate to John McCain’s campaign. One doesn’t choose the Huffington Post for no reason though. Any online or broadcast news network would have allowed her to comment on the commercial from MSNBC to Fox news. The mere fact that she was commenting would be news worthy and any one of these outlets would have given her the opportunity to get her message out. Posting on Huffington is not getting your message out, it’s making a statement. It’s shoving it in John McCain’s face. I don’t pretend to know why she went there, I am just saying I found it interesting. It’s possible that while she and her husband donated the money to McCain, maybe she isn’t the one that supports him. Maybe it’s her husband and she has other thoughts on the campaign, which is her prerogative. Maybe she genuinely took the ad as offensive and wanted to do something that would not only register a disagreement but maybe draw a little blood. Again, her prerogative and maybe not unwarranted since it was her daughter that was depicted.

Second I find Ms Hilton’s indignation that her daughter would be depicted this way ridiculous. Ms Hilton has to realize that her daughter has brought this caricature on herself. She has to read the press reports and see the news and knows that her daughter is essentially nothing more than a dimwitted, self centered, party girl. Let’s be honest, someone mentions the phrase moronic bimbo and who’s name pops into your head? The woman’s entire celebrity status began when her ex-boyfriend released a sex tape of them on the internet. Since then instead of trying to restore her good name and make us know that she is not really that girl in the tape, she has dedicated her life to living down to everyone’s low expectations of her.

Finally I always find it curious that the parents of people like Ms Spears and Ms Hilton seem to blame everyone for their children’s misfortunes other than themselves. It was the boyfriend’s fault that he released the tape, she had no responsibility for her actions. One of them is caught on tape falling down drunk, it’s the paparazzi’s fault for hounding them and photographing or taping them. The celebs themselves or their parents seem to bear no responsibility for their actions.

While these women and men like Ms Spears and Ms Hilton are adults and should take full responsibility for their actions, let us not forget who raised them. In my mind it is clear that Ms Hilton was raised to be the selfish person she is today. These people are raised in a life of privilege and excuse in which the word no was never heard and any transgression was simply ‘taken care’ of with daddy’s money.

So while we can look at the actions of these people with disdain, we do need to reserve some credit for the people that helped create them, their parents.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Democrats To The Troops: Up Yours had an alarming story yesterday about the difficulties that American troops face to vote by absentee ballot. It is difficult for the troops to get the ballots in time to get them back and be counted.

According to the article it takes 18 days for the United States Postal Service to deliver the ballots to the troops and 18 days to mail them back to the proper voting place to be counted. It was estimated that of the 1 million absentee ballots requested by troops in the 2006 elections, 300,000 were counted and as many as 400,000 were cast but unable to be counted due to returning to the precincts too late. If this is true then 40% of troops who wanted to vote, and attempted to, were unable.

Senator John Cornyn, Republican, Texas has introduced a bill that would have the ballots delivered and returned by Federal Express, thus cutting the time significantly and allowing the troops to vote. Twenty nine Senators have co-sponsored the bill, none of them Democrats. John McCain has signed on as sponsor but his opponent, Senator Barack Obama, has not. Obama is pushing for wounded vets to have better accessibility to vote from Veteran facilities but is not sponsoring the current Senate proposal of Senator Cornyn.

I suspect there is a reason why the Democrats, and more specifically Obama, take this stance. Troops have historically tended to vote Republican and there is a good chance that may be even more so this year because of the candidates. They certainly wouldn’t want to encourage them to vote. McCain, a wounded fighter pilot who spent time as a POW, appears to be quite popular with the troops. Obama, on the other hand, does not because of his lack of military experience and his close association with the far left anti-war movement. The anti-war movement has shown a real tendency to be very disrespectful and disdainful of American troops.

As far as his support of wounded veterans rights, I think this is political opportunism on his part also. I believe that Obama and his team have decided that this may be a group that is more disillusioned with the Iraq war and more supportive of him. Plus he gets the added bonus of supporting the wounded vets. What a great guy he is. While I think it is an embarrassment that vets would face difficulties voting, I think it is shameful to use them to score political points. Finally, he did not appear to have this same concern for the wounded troops when he chose not to visit them in Germany after being told by the Pentagon that he could not use them as campaign props. Story here:

As I said, the article is about a bill that was introduced. As of this posting the bill has not been taken up by the Senate. What does this mean, you ask? Well it is August 3rd, the Senate just went on a 5 week vacation. When they return it will be the second week of September. If they acted on it on the day they returned, passed it and sent it to the House for immediate passage and then on to President Bush to sign it, it still would not help the troops for this election. How convenient for them.

As the title says, the Democrats are sending a clear message to the troops, up yours. Considering the shaft they are giving us on gas prices, the question is: Why should they treat the troops any different than the rest of us?